Birthday Presents for Creative Kids

What do you buy the child who has everything?

My children are by no means spoiled but when it comes to toys they have pretty much all they need. I’ve written before about how I think less is more and that having fewer toys available actually helps children to play. I find that boxes and shelves full of all kinds of play things can overwhelm children, and cleaning out some of the clutter can give them the opportunity to be more creative with the toys that are there and find fun and inventive ways to use them.

What’s your gift-giving philosophy?

If you’re tying to follow a code of simplicity, what happens when it comes to birthdays?  A child’s birthday is very special to them – so much so my girls love  birthday party pretend play all year round! – and giving a gift is a generous and traditional way to show your love for someone.

It is a time when your toy philosophy is called into action and you need to think about what kind of gift you will give. Do you keep it simple and give a gift far less lavish than your child’s friends might receive? Or have your child’s birthday party as the one time of the year when you are extravagant and really treat your kiddo? What if your gift giving views are very different from other members of your family, especially grandparents – how do you handle that? It can be even more complicated when your child begins to receive invitations to friends’ or classmates’ parties and you need to consider the gift giving etiquette of the peer group.

I’d love to hear how you handle gift giving in your family. We do tend to go for less rather than more, even at birthdays. Our parties are usually at-home affairs with just a handful of guests, with the effect that the influx of presents isn’t overwhelming and each individual gift is appreciated. For my second daughter’s first birthday, when we were already kitted out with lots of baby things from having an older sibling, we asked if anyone thinking of sending a gift would make a donation instead to the hospital that had looked after my daughter when she was born. That said, we also love to take time to find a present that we thinking the birthday child will really love and to give something that’s packed with lots of play and creative possibilities.

Birthday presents for creative kids

If you’re giving a gift and want something generous but not over the top, full of fun and plenty of play factor, what would you give? We often put together a gift kit, usually with some homemade element to them so my children can be involved in making the present too.

Let’s Get Growing Kit

For an outdoor-loving kid, we like to give a garden gift set. We might include child-sized gardening gloves, seed pots and some easy to grow seeds such as sunflowers. My children make plant labels, adding in a homemade touch, and we package it all up in a cute watering can.

Let’s Play Baking kit

The gift set you’ll see up top is a playdough baking kit. We use our favorite homemade playdough recipe and have my kids mix it up with different colours and extra glitter and maybe a fragrance like vanilla or orange oil. We shop in the home section of our local store to buy some colorful cake cases and cookie cutters. Silicone cake cases are great as they can be used time and time again. They we add in some extra ingredients such as birthday candles, pom poms and foil cutouts for cake and cookie decorating. The whole set fits together well in these stacking containers, making it fun to give and easy to store. It’s a present packed with play possibilities.

How do you handle birthday presents?

What kind of gifts do you give? Any suggestions for alternative birthday presents for creative kids? Add your idea in the comments.




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Cathy James writes NurtureStore, a blog which is packed full of play ideas, kids' crafts and fun activities. Visit NurtureStore to sign up for a free weekly Play Planner or follow the ideas on Facebook.